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Manhattan Assault Defense Lawyer

Brooklyn Assault Criminal Defense Lawyer

Defense Attorney for Intentional, Reckless, or Criminally Negligent Physical Injury Charges in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens

When an assault occurs, the police often arrive to find a scene of chaos; they must react quickly to restore calm and protect everyone's physical security. When adrenaline is running high, conditions are not ideal for anyone to make coherent statements about the assault and the events leading up to it.

In other words, when the police make an arrest for assault, they rarely have all the facts in hand. To make sure that your side of the story is heard accurately, the advice of an attorney can be invaluable.

Any intentional, reckless, or negligent action that causes physical injury to another person can result in a charge of assault in New York. While an assault charge can be serious, with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can protect your freedom and your future.

You can rely on Watford Jackson, PLLC to deliver the sound legal advice and aggressive defense you need to prevail against an assault charge. Attorneys Joey Jackson and Gregory J. Watford have over 45 years of combined experience in the practice of criminal law in the highly competitive courts of New York City. We have successfully guided many clients through the New York criminal justice system.

Understanding Assault Charges in New York

If you have been charged with assault, the prosecution must prove that you intentionally or recklessly caused actual physical injury to another person. If you took a swing at someone but did not cause injury, the charge would instead be attempted assault, menacing, or harassment. If you displayed a weapon or behaved in a physically threatening way, thereby placing another person in reasonable fear of physical injury, the charge could be menacing.

The severity of an assault charge depends on multiple circumstances, including whether there was intent to injure, whether a weapon was used, and how serious the alleged victim's injuries actually were. To obtain a conviction, the prosecution must present evidence proving each element of the crime as defined in the law. The experienced attorneys at Watford Jackson know how to counter each point of evidence including the credibility and accuracy of witness testimony.

New York Penal Law section 120 defines three degrees of assault:

  • Third Degree Assault, a class A misdemeanor, occurs when someone causes physical injury to another person with intent to do so, or by recklessness, or by criminal negligence involving a deadly or dangerous weapon. (NYPL 120.00).
  • Second Degree Assault, a class D felony, occurs when someone causes serious physical injury to another person with intent to do so; or when someone causes physical injury to another person with intent and by means of a deadly or dangerous weapon; or when someone causes injury to a public service or healthcare worker while trying to obstruct them from performing their duties; or under other special circumstances defined in the law (NYPL 120.05).
  • First Degree Assault, a class B felony, occurs when someone causes serious physical injury to another person with intent to cause serious or permanent injury, or with depraved indifference to human life, or in the course of committing a felony (NYPL 120.10).

Special Classes of Assault in New York

New York law also defines several special classes of assault:

  • Vehicular assault occurs when a drunk or drugged driver causes serious physical injury to another person. Vehicular assault can be a class C, D, or E felony depending on the circumstances. If someone is killed, the crime becomes the more serious crime of vehicular manslaughter.
  • Gang assault, a class B or C felony, occurs when someone causes physical injury to another person while aided by two or more other persons.
  • Reckless assault on a child by a daycare provider, a class E felony, occurs when such provider recklessly causes serious physical injury to a child under 11 years old.
  • Assault on a first responder or judge occurs when someone causes serious physical injury with intent to stop such person from performing their duties. This is a class C felony, but can be charged as a class B felony if a dangerous or deadly weapon is used.

NYC Lawyers for Defense of Assault Charges

Most assault crimes are felonies, meaning you could be facing a jail sentence of one year or more and/or a fine of up to $5,000. You will want to consult an attorney with significant criminal defense experience in the county where the incident occurred. Contact the attorneys of Watford Jackson in our Manhattan office at 855-WAT-JACK or 855-928-5225. We handle cases in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Nassau County, Rockland County, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.


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101 Avenue of the Americas, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10013

Call Us855-928-5225

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